Delhi Hospitals On Alert Over New Covid Variant ‘Omicron’: Sources

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Delhi struggled with a massive surge in cases during the second Covid wave earlier this year (File)

New Delhi:

Hospitals in Delhi have been asked to be on high alert and ensure coronavirus safety measures amid the detection of a new coronavirus variant ‘omicron’ and a surge in cases in other countries.

Delhi’s Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal has directed the Chief Secretary, Police Commissioner and other senior officers of the national capital to ensure strict adherence to all Covid protocols in public places and functions and full preparedness in hospitals to deal with any emergency, sources have told NDTV.

The Delhi Disaster Management Authority will meet experts and representatives of the Ministry of Civil Aviation on Monday to review the situation and plan a way forward as countries start reporting cases related to this strain which, according to virologists, has an “unusually large number of mutations”, they added.

A decision will be taken at the meet on conducting RT-PCR tests on passengers deboarding flights from South Africa, Botswana, Zimbabwe, and Hong Kong, and quarantining them, the sources further said.

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal has urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi to stop flights from countries affected by the new variant of the coronavirus to India.

On Twitter, the Chief Minister stressed that the country has “recovered” from the coronavirus pandemic with “great difficulty” and should do “everything possible” to stop a new variant from entering the country.

“I urge Hon’ble PM to stop flights from those countries which are affected by new variant. With great difficulty, our country has recovered from Corona. We shud do everything possible to prevent this new variant from entering India,” Mr Kejriwal tweeted.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi today chaired a Covid review meet and briefed about the coronavirus situation across the world, including the new Variant of Concern ‘Omicron’ along with its characteristics and the impact seen in various countries.

In view of this new variant, PM Modi asked officials to review plans for easing international travel restrictions in light of the emerging new evidence.

The World Health Organisation today has asked countries in Southeast Asia to scale up surveillance, strengthen public health and social measures, and enhance vaccination coverage. The global health body said festivities and celebrations must include all precautionary measures and crowds and large gatherings must be avoided, reported news agency ANI.

Hundreds of travelers are desperately trying to get back home as several countries have already put curbs on flights from the country over the new strain.

Delhi, one of the worst-hit states in the country during the second wave of the pandemic in April-May this year, had struggled with an unprecedented shortage of hospital beds, medicines, and medical oxygen. Crematoriums were stretched to their maximum limit as an extraordinary number of fatalities stunned them.





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